Numbers Chapter 2

How do I make an income playing music?  Or more specifically, how am I going to make $12,000 per year playing music?  I am not sure yet, but I know that I have to be willing to do almost anything.  Let’s see what I have working for me right now.

1) I can play two hour acoustic cover gigs by myself.  I have a husband who is also a musician.  Together we can play four hour cover gigs, but we have to pay a babysitter.
2) I have a really great original band.
3) I have CDs that I can sell for $10 each (at a cost of about $3 each not including recording costs.)
4) I have this blog.
5) I have a PA system, a drum set, guitars, recording equipment and all that other fun stuff.
6) I write songs.
7) I design websites

Ok.  Pretty good start.  What can I do with this and what needs to be improved?

1) I can learn two more hours of cover songs and play at bars and restaurants.  This is probably my best bet.  If I can get at least one of those per week, I’m about halfway there. If I can get two, that’s even better.  But the market is competitive and I don’t want to rely too much on that.  (I’ll try really hard though.)  I would expect to make at least $25 per hour at a gig like this, plus $25 just to drive there, walk in and set up and break down.  If I play as a duo, the hourly rate goes down a bit and there is the babysitting expense on top of it.

2) I have no idea how to make money with an original band.  So far I have been told that touring will make you lose money and at best make you break even.  So, I am just going to continue to practice and get better with them and hope that we develop some sort of cult following.  Or I can have a cover band.  Those make money.  Everyone says to play weddings.  I guess I should open myself up to the idea.


3) Merch. Merch. Merch. They say sell the merchandise at your shows and you will do well.    My CD is new and it has been selling like hotcakes to both strangers and those who have been waiting three years for me to finish it and everything in between.  Eventually I will have to expand a bit out of this region to get sales. I guess I should have t-shirts [business expense].  I am already getting digital distribution and airplay all over the whole internet, so I can hope to get residual income from that.  I am affiliated with BMI.  When I see money from this, I will be sure to let you know.

4) I monetized this blog.  Thank you for reading it.

5) I have so much music stuff and I always want it to be newer and better.  If I’m not careful, this will work against me.  I want lighter PA speakers [business expense] and more cables [business expense].  I want a new guitar with better electronics [business expense].  I have to learn to work with what I have and only buy stuff when I absolutely need to.  I need to learn when it simply isn’t acceptable to play with mediocre equipment.

6) I can sell my songs.  I don’t know how to do this yet, but this is definitely something to look into.

7) I need to talk to musicians about making websites for them. I have already toyed with this idea and it seemed to be a need in the musician community.

Those are the things I have working for me already and ideas on how to improve them. I’m not really sure why I have hesitated in going all in. I mean, that’s a pretty good skill set if you ask me. On top of that, I can go busking which takes almost no effort or business mind at all to do. I could probably stand on the side of the road and make 1/3 or the money I need during the warm months of the year. I’m going to explore each of these skills in more depth in their own blogs in the near future.


This entry was posted in Business, I WANT IT ALL. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Numbers Chapter 2

  1. kyle andree says:

    I don’t think idea number 7 is such a bad idea… The design of your website is pretty sleek. It’s accessible, easy to understand/navigate, and it looks great. I know I’m probably going to be bugging you when I have my website situation decided on.

  2. Pingback: Web Design for musicians | Tammy Laforest

  3. Pingback: An awfully pretty little BUSINESS EXPENSE | Tammy Laforest

Comments are closed.